About a month after saying it was taking real-time search seriously, Google seems to be preparing a microblogging search tool.
Google Operating System discovered a hint that such a feature could be in the works while traipsing through the Google In Your Language site, where Google enlists speakers of languages other than English to help come up with a translation of Google's Web copy that makes the most sense. One of those languages is apparently "Hacker," and one of the phrases that Google asked the Hacker-speaking community to help translate was: "Recent updates about QUERY," describing it as "This is the MicroBlogsearch Universal result group header text."
As services like Twitter have exploded, Google has been asked numerous times whether it plans to respond in kind, or at least develop a search algorithm for Tweets. Google Wave might one day help satisfy the real-time communication part, but Google pays the bills based on its search capability, and there's a real opportunity for someone to jump into microblogging search given the spotty experience provided by Twitter Search.
Marissa Mayer, who oversees new features in Google Search, responded to inquires about Twitter in at a May roundtable meeting during Google's shareholder event by saying the company was looking for ways to add microblogging search into the mix. The title--MicroBlogsearch Universal--could suggest that Google merely plans to add a link to the "show options" column on left-hand site of its search results page that already allows you to filter results by time, with choices like "recent results" and "Past 24 hours." Those results are very imprecise, however, and don't appear to surface individual Tweets.
Google declined to address the notion of this particular service directly, but issued this statement. "At Google we strive to connect people to all the world's information, and this includes information that's frequently updated such as news sites, blogs and real-time sources. While we don't have anything to announce today, real-time information is important, and we're looking at different ways to use this information to make Google more useful to our users."